THE festive season is a time of tradition - and for one Newport family that means taking out their Disney Christmas tree lights every year.

The Smith family believe their Mickey Mouse lights are about 90 years old - and despite their age they are still taken out of their box each year to delight the younger members of the family.

South Wales Argus:

Valerie Smith admiring the vintage Christmas lights with granddaughter Daisi Kitcher, aged nine

South Wales Argus:

The Smith family's vintage Disney Christmas lights


They were first bought by Arthur and Iris Smith, of Queens Hill Crescent, some time before the birth of the first of their three daughters in 1932.

Middle daughter, Valerie Evans, now 85, of Ridgeway, Newport, vividly remembers the lights twinkling on the family's white artificial tree as a very young child before the outbreak of the Second World War.

"As children we always had an artificial white tree which was quite unusual at the time and the Mickey Mouse lights were so special - the three of us used to gaze at them all the time," she said.

"My favourite was the blue one with Pluto skating as when it glowed it looked like ice.

South Wales Argus:

The box for the Smith family's vintage Disney Christmas lights

South Wales Argus:

Valerie Smith admiring the vintage Christmas lights

"When my daughters were very young they used to love scaring themselves by looking at the bulb of the wolf chasing the three little pigs.

"I still love seeing them come out every year because it reminds me of the wonderful Christmases we had when we were young.

"Apart from the lights, the tree just had a bit of tinsel and we made paper chains to hang up too.

South Wales Argus:

Daisi Kitcher, aged nine, with the family's vintage Christmas lights which were bought some time before 1932

"Christmas trees only went up a few days before the big day - much later than nowadays - and I remember everyone squashing into Woolworths to do their shopping on Christmas Eve. The shop was close to where Boots is now in the city centre and was so crammed your arms would be stuck to your sides.

"Us children would find an orange and apple in the toe of our Christmas stockings and maybe a few sweets. I remember having a doll one year and my sister had a sweet shop.

"The following year the doll would reappear with a new set of hand-sewn clothes and the shop would have new sweets."

South Wales Argus:

Barbara and Valerie Smith, picture taken in the 1940s

South Wales Argus:

The Smith family (from left) Arthur, Valerie, Barbara, Iris and Jean in the 1940s

Mrs Evans, a keen seamstress, has made her own festive decorations over the years to add to the family's Christmas traditions, including stockings and advent calendars for her two children and five grandchildren.

Mrs Evans said: "I never thought my grandchildren would be enjoying these special lights four generations later, but things were made to last in those days - you didn't just replace objects like you do now. I still love the lights as much as ever and hope they continue bringing joy to our family and friends for years to come."

The family are thinking about contacting the popular television programme The Repair Shop to see if they can give the lights an update so that they can continue being used for years to come.